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World News Daily(2024-07-02) : EU Finds Meta's 'Pay or Consent' Model Violates Competition Rules

European Commission says Meta's "pay or consent" model breaks EU rules. Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, asks users in Europe to either accept being tracked for ads or pay to avoid them. The EU sees this as forcing users into a corner.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) aims to stop big tech companies from using their power unfairly. Meta, seen as a "gatekeeper," needs user permission to track them. The EU thinks Meta isn't giving a real choice.

Meta could face big fines—up to 10% of its global income. The EU wants Meta to offer a free version with less personalized ads, not just a paid one. Meta argues it's following EU court rules, but the EU says Meta must explain why it doesn't offer a free, less personalized ad option.

The investigation isn't over, but the EU plans to finish by March 2025. Consumer groups are happy with the EU's move.



Hurricane Beryl Threatens Southeastern Caribbean as Category 3 Storm

Hurricane Beryl, a Category 3 storm, targets the southeast Caribbean. It's the earliest Category 4 Atlantic hurricane on record, fueled by unusually warm waters. Hurricane warnings cover Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, Tobago, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines urges residents to stay indoors.

Beryl's winds peak at 120 mph, moving west at 20 mph. It's compact, with hurricane-force winds extending 35 miles from its center. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Martinique and Trinidad, with watches issued for Dominica and Haiti’s southern coast.

Forecasters predict a life-threatening storm surge up to 9 feet, with heavy rainfall potentially reaching 10 inches in some areas, especially in Grenada and the Grenadines. The National Hurricane Center warns of a very dangerous situation.

Beryl is expected to weaken slightly but remain a significant hurricane as it moves across the Caribbean, potentially impacting Jamaica and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Officials in affected areas have shut down electricity, warned of water outages, and closed schools, airports, and government offices.

Beryl strengthened rapidly, becoming a major hurricane in just 42 hours, a rare feat in Atlantic hurricane history. Its formation is linked to record-warm waters, hotter than typical peak hurricane season temperatures.

As Beryl approaches, residents and visitors brace for impact, with many fearing the worst despite preparations. The storm underscores the heightened threat of hurricane activity this season, with NOAA predicting well above-average activity.



State Power Investment Corporation's new energy installed capacity exceeds 100 million kilowatts.

State Power Investment Corporation's new energy installations have exceeded 100 million kilowatts. Wind power accounts for 62.28 million kilowatts, and solar power for 42.13 million kilowatts. Ranking first globally, experiencing leapfrog growth. Annual power generation reaches 200 billion kilowatt-hours, serving over 60 million households. As of January 2022, wind power installations stood at 50 million kilowatts, continuing to lead.

New energy installations: Refers to the total capacity of installed and operational renewable energy power generation equipment. Kilowatt: A unit of power. Leapfrog growth: Refers to rapid and significant growth.


Shanghai Pudong New Area is establishing a billion-level industrial fund, focusing on humanoid robots and embodied intelligence.

Shanghai's Pudong New Area is in the process of establishing a billion-dollar industrial fund, focusing on humanoid robots and embodied intelligence. The goal is to strengthen the industrial chain, promote technological innovation, and build a national innovation hub. By 2027, the training center will be capable of simultaneously training a thousand robots, expanding application scenarios.

Embodied intelligence refers to robots possessing human-like perception, decision-making, and action capabilities.

This initiative heralds a leap forward in robot technology, with profound implications for industrial structure and societal impact.


Boston Celtics NBA Championship Team Up for Sale

Boston Celtics, NBA champions, are up for sale. The ownership group plans to sell all shares by 2024-2025, with the final sale expected in 2028. With 18 NBA titles, the Celtics could be valued at over $4 billion, similar to the Phoenix Suns' sale in 2023. Wyc Grousbeck, who purchased the team for $360 million in 2002, will remain as governor until 2028.

Sports team valuations are skyrocketing due to high media rights. The NBA's media rights negotiations are ongoing, with NBCUniversal, ESPN, and Amazon among the bidders. Live sports continue to draw large TV audiences.

Insight: The Celtics' sale mirrors a trend in high-value sports team transactions, fueled by lucrative media rights and fan engagement. Selling post-championship maximizes potential buyer interest and valuation.


Chinese EV Companies Achieve Record Deliveries in June

Chinese EV Companies Achieve Record Deliveries in June

Zeekr, owned by Geely, delivered 20,106 electric cars in June, bringing the total for the first half of 2024 to 87,870. This surpasses Nio's 87,426 deliveries, despite Nio's robust performance in June with 21,209 cars. Xpeng trailed with 52,028 deliveries.

Li Auto leads when including hybrids, with 188,981 vehicles delivered in the first half. Most Li cars feature a fuel tank for extended range. Huawei's Aito brand, also offering hybrids, delivered 184,286 vehicles.

Xiaomi, known for smartphones and home appliances, entered the EV market in late March with its electric SUV, the SU7, delivering over 25,000 units. BYD delivered 1.6 million new energy vehicles, with hybrids slightly outpacing battery-only cars.

China's new energy vehicle sales rose to 47% of all passenger car sales in May, up from 32% at the start of the year. Range anxiety remains a concern, prompting calls for improved battery charging processes.

China has introduced a trade-in policy to boost new energy vehicle sales, while many companies have cut prices and unveiled new models to stay competitive.



Tencent Yuanbao AI launches deep search mode, focusing on scientific research and financial sectors.

Tencent Yuanbao AI Upgrade Introduces Deep Search Mode. In this mode, Yuanbao offers structured and rich responses, generates content outlines, mind maps, and event summaries. It particularly excels in the fields of research and finance. Supports processing of lengthy documents, multiple file formats, and one-click generation of data charts. Now accessible via WeChat and QQ accounts.

Deep Search Mode: Enhances problem coverage and associativity, providing more comprehensive search results. Hunyuan Large Model: An AI technology that supports complex data processing and various application scenarios.


Google launches AI-powered video editing app Google Vids for testing.

Google has launched an AI-powered video editing app called Google Vids, which is now in the testing phase. The app integrates the Gemini large model, allowing users to create slideshows, write scripts, and access materials from Shutterstock. Editing features include adding or removing slides, text, images, and audio, with the final output being an MP4 file. Currently, Google Vids lacks AI dubbing functionality.

Additionally, Google has been active in the AI field recently, including developing new AI to generate music and dialogue for videos, as well as incorporating shopping ads into AI search results.

Generative AI capabilities: Refers to the use of artificial intelligence technology to automatically generate content, such as text, images, or videos.


Critical Remote Code Execution Flaw Discovered in OpenSSH Servers

Critical Remote Code Execution Flaw Discovered in OpenSSH Servers

Qualys has identified a critical flaw in OpenSSH servers, known as "RegreSSHion." This vulnerability enables remote code execution without the need for authentication. It affects various versions on Linux systems and arises from a race condition in the signal handler. Exploiting this issue can lead to system takeover, installation of malware, and tampering with data. Attackers may also use compromised systems to propagate within networks. For more details, please visit Qualys' blog.


Brain-Controlled Bionic Leg Enhances Amputees' Mobility

Brain-Controlled Bionic Leg Enhances Amputees' Mobility

Brain-controlled bionic leg boosts amputees' speed and ease of movement. Trial results show 41% faster walking and better stair navigation.

The device uses the wearer's thoughts to flex, point, and rotate the foot, resulting in a more natural gait and improved stability on uneven terrain.

Prof Hugh Herr, co-director of MIT's K Lisa Yang Center for Bionics, leads the study. Herr, a double amputee, plans to use the technology himself.

Trial participants reported less pain and muscle atrophy, feeling that their prosthetic was part of their body, not just a tool.

A new surgery, the agonist-antagonist myoneural interface (AMI), preserves muscle connections, allowing the monitoring and translation of muscle contractions into ankle movements.

Dr. Sigrid Dupan, from University College Dublin, highlights the significance of terrain adaptability.

The MIT team aims to commercialize the leg within five years, with Herr envisioning a major step-change in clinical care for amputees worldwide.


Video Game

New Resident Evil Game Announced, Directed by Resident Evil 7's Koshi Nakanishi

New Resident Evil Game Announced, Directed by Resident Evil 7's Koshi Nakanishi

Capcom announced a new Resident Evil game. Koshi Nakanishi, director of Resident Evil 7, leads the project.


The New York Times' Game App Wins Apple Design Award

The New York Times has won Apple's Design Award for the "Fun to Play" category with its game app, NYT Games. This app originated from its crossword puzzles and has since expanded to include games like Wordle and Spelling Bee. Crossword puzzles were invented in 1913 by Arthur Wynne of The New York World. Initially, The New York Times was critical of crossword puzzles, but during World War II, they became a tool for escapism and were eventually incorporated into the newspaper.

The success of NYT Games lies in its meticulous design, which enhances the replayability of the games. The New York Times has viewed its gaming business as a new growth area by acquiring and integrating popular games. Currently, NYT Games has over 1 million downloads per month, five times that of The New York Times app, generating nearly $2 million in monthly revenue on the App Store, accounting for 28.69% of the revenue from "The New York Times" family of apps.

In this world filled with uncertainties, games have become a way for people to escape reality. This transformation by The New York Times not only boosts revenue but also reflects the trend of convergence between media and entertainment.



Demon Slayer Final Season to Be Released as Film Trilogy

Demon Slayer Final Season to Be Released as Film Trilogy

Demon Slayer's final season, the Infinity Castle Arc, is adapted into a film trilogy. Crunchyroll and Sony Pictures oversee distribution outside of Japan.


Catholic Church to Canonize First Gamer Saint

Catholic Church to Canonize First Gamer Saint

The Catholic Church has canonized Blessed Carlo Acutis, the first gamer saint. Known as "God's Influencer," Acutis utilized technology to spread his faith. This canonization signifies a shift, acknowledging modern methods within traditional practices. Canonization is the process by which the Catholic Church elevates a person to sainthood, believing they possess powers of divine intervention.



Jiangsu will include assisted reproduction and painless childbirth in the medical insurance.

Starting from July 1, Jiangsu Province will include 13 types of assisted reproductive services and painless childbirth in the medical insurance coverage. This move aims to support childbearing and promote balanced population development.

Assisted reproductive services include techniques such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, intended to help infertile couples. Painless childbirth involves intrathecal analgesia to alleviate the pain of childbirth for mothers.

By covering these services under medical insurance, the cost of childbirth is reduced, meeting the needs of more families. Huai'an City has also implemented a policy where newborns are "insured upon birth," further streamlining the process and enhancing the effectiveness of fertility support policies.


North Carolina's Plan to Erase $4 Billion in Medical Debt

North Carolina plans to eliminate $4 billion in medical debt for 2 million residents. Governor Roy Cooper's proposal offers hospitals additional federal Medicaid funds if they cancel old debts and assist future patients with discounts. Hospitals must also cease selling debt to collectors and cap interest rates.

The plan does not require the state to spend extra funds and needs federal approval. If approved, hospitals could receive up to $6.5 billion next year. Benefits for patients would commence in 2025-2026.

This initiative focuses on long-term debt relief, contrasting with one-time federal fund usage by other states. It supports low- and middle-income families, potentially stimulating the state's economy.

Explanation of Terms:

  • Medicaid Reimbursement Funds: Money provided by the federal government to states to assist in covering healthcare services for low-income individuals.
  • Charity Care Programs: Services provided by hospitals at reduced costs or free of charge to patients who cannot afford care.


Biniam Girmay Makes History as First Black African to Win Tour de France Stage

Biniam Girmay, an Eritrean cyclist, made history by winning the third stage of the Tour de France, becoming the first Black African to do so. His victory, he said, was for all Africans, signaling a significant moment for the continent in the world of cycling.

Girmay had previously made headlines by winning a stage at the Giro d’Italia, another prestigious race, but his celebration was cut short when a prosecco cork struck his eye, necessitating hospitalization and forcing him to withdraw from the race.

In this Tour de France stage, Girmay edged out Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud De Lie in a close finish. Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish, aiming for a record-breaking 35th stage win, was delayed by a crash but maintained his position due to race rules.

Richard Carapaz, an Olympic champion, took the yellow jersey, becoming the first Ecuadorean to lead the race.



Starbucks Enhances Store Efficiency and Customer Experience

Starbucks is rolling out the Siren Craft System, aiming to speed up service and ease barista workloads. Over 10% of their 10,000 stores have adopted it so far. The system changes drink production order, prioritizing hot drinks earlier to prevent bottlenecks.

The company also plans to introduce a "play caller" role, akin to a restaurant expediter, to manage logjams and unexpected rushes. This role will focus on tasks like restocking and crowd management.

Starbucks is also tweaking its app to open mobile ordering to non-rewards members, hoping to boost traffic and sales. This move comes as they face declining same-store sales and customer traffic.

The Siren Craft System and app changes are part of a broader effort to improve efficiency and customer experience, crucial as Starbucks navigates a challenging economic environment and consumer cost consciousness.


Childhood Diet Linked to Cognitive Health in Later Life

Childhood Diet Linked to Cognitive Health in Later Life

Healthy diet in childhood, key to sharp mind in 70s. Research tracked Britons from age four to 70. First study to link diet early in life with mental sharpness later. Supports current health advice: good diet early, good health lifelong.

Study of 3,059 UK adults, from childhood to old age. Diet quality linked to cognitive ability. 8% with poor diets kept high cognitive ability. 7% with good diets had low cognitive ability.

High cognitive group at 70 had better memory, processing speed. Low group showed signs of dementia. Diet in childhood influences later dietary patterns.

Best cognitive performers ate more veggies, fruits, legumes, whole grains. Less sodium, added sugars, refined grains.

Adjust diet at any age. More whole plant foods, better cognitive health.


Japanese Startup to Launch Protein-Rich Silkworm Food in Singapore

Japanese Startup to Launch Protein-Rich Silkworm Food in Singapore

Morus, a Japanese startup, plans to sell silkworm-based food in Singapore. The city-state is set to legalize edible insects this year. CEO Ryo Sato aims to export powdered silkworms and protein products, touting them as a new protein source. Silkworms offer more protein than chicken, with lower fat and calories. Production costs are also lower than cultured meat.

Sato envisions broader uses for silkworms, including feed and preventive medicine. Morus, founded in 2021 at Shinshu University, established a Singapore subsidiary in February, drawn by government support programs. The company also eyes Southeast Asia for expansion.

Singapore, with a low food self-sufficiency rate, supports alternative protein startups. In 2020, it approved cultured meat sales, a world first. Last year, the Singapore Food Agency announced plans to allow 16 insect types for human consumption, including silkworms and crickets. Regulations are being formulated to ensure safety.

Asian countries like Thailand and South Korea already consume certain insects. Vietnam's Cricket One also plans to enter the Singapore market.